So after spending lots of time going through the different forum posts I honestly can't tell if the people with the same issue ever got there device working. I have tried all the things posted.
1. tried to flash the bootloader posted (unzipped and renamed partitiontable-header-uboot.img.gz posted by hawhill). I thought this was just what i needed as i realize that when i followed the K3noobdebrickatk guide in the given order for setting ATK settings selecting MMC/SD sets the Address to 00000000 and realize that I didn't notice this until after the Program button was pressed. Though even on that first occurance I'm pretty sure it error-ed out as I didn't even know what a success looked like until browsing a different forum stream.
On a related note there is the bootloader 3.3 but no 3.0. Yet given that i couldn't even get the 3.3 to program without the "Failed to initial..." error I guess it's kinda moot for the time being.
2. Tried switch the battery with my wife's working kindle because my device did do the connect/disconnect from computer thing that was mentioned earlier in the posts. (yet then realized it was mentioned that this connect/disconnect is normal i think due to inactivity on the line.
So I'm pretty much at my end and would greatly appreciate any other suggestions.